2017 Best Facade Rehabilitation Project for More Than $15,000
The Appalachian Theatre, located at 555 West King Street, was designed by Clarence Coffey, who apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright. It opened on November 14, 1938, and became the social center for Watauga County, showing films and presenting live entertainment. Over the years, the marquee was removed and the Art Deco facade was replaced. In 1982 it was converted to a two-screen theater and then it closed in 2007. In 2012, the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country was formed to restore and renovate the theater.
Although the interior will be renovated into a modern theater, the facade, designed by Clearscapes, was restored to its original 1938 appearance. The $350,000 facade was primarily funded by private donations and a small $5,000 facade grant. The marquee itself carried a $100,000 price tag.
The building went from having boarded up windows, graffiti and a construction fence that sat outside the theater for years, to a North Carolina showpiece in the middle of downtown Boone.The theater has also spurred new business growth, including Boone's first boutique hotel that is opening just down the street.